Lawrence E. Nielsen, 1917-1992

Publication Year: 1994.



Lawrence E. Nielsen was born and raised on a cattle and wheat ranch near Pilot Rock Oregon. He was educated at Pacific University, Washington State University and Cornell University, from which he received a Ph.D. in chemistry and physics. Larry spent over 32 years as a scientist with the Monsanto Company, doing research on plastic and composite materials. His research resulted in about 150 publications, six patents and five technical books. He received two national awards for this research and a listing in Who’s Who in America. Larry was also an Affiliate Professor of Chemical Engineering for eleven years at Washington University in St. Louis.

Larry was a member of over eighteen climbing and glacier-research expeditions to Alaska and the Yukon, several of which were sponsored by the American Geographical Society and the Arctic Institute of North America. In 1959, he led the first expedition to retrace the Gold-Rush route of 1898 over the Valez Glacier. An amazing number of artifacts were found melting out of the glacier ice.

Larry retired to Redmond, Oregon in 1977 and began tracing the pioneer roads of Oregon, often assisted by his wife Deanne and other members of his family. This research resulted in four books: Pioneer Roads in Central Oregon, In the Ruts of the Wagon Wheels, Roads of Yesterday, and Oregon’s Fading Past, the latter published posthumously.

He is survived by his wife Deanne, a daughter Linda and two grandchildren.

James Ramsey